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Broadband infrastructure must be held in public ownership – Colreavy

15 July, 2015 - by Michael Colreavy TD

Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Communications, has called for the broadband network outlined under the state intervention strategy must remain in public ownership. 

Speaking on the issue, Deputy Colreavy said:

“The government have outlined an intervention strategy to supply high speed broadband to homes across the country that won't be covered by private industry.

“Two options have been outlined as ownership models have been put forward for this network, public ownership and commercial stimulus.

“The public ownership model must be adopted. Not only is this the right thing to do, it also makes business sense.

“State ownership allows the network to be controlled from a national level meaning that an overall broadband strategy can be implemented.

“Income generated from ownership of the network would provide for upgrades to be made into the future. A public ownership model would allow the state the final say as to how the network should be run and operated.

“These options will not be available to the state if they do not proceed with a public ownership model. High speed broadband is an essential requirement for almost everyone today.  The government should recognise a broadband network as a key state asset. 

“It's important that the Minister looks to examples such as Australia where the state built the broadband network and even the most isolated homes receive broadband speeds of up to 1GB per second.

“Ireland's broadband woes are largely down to the privatisation of Telecom Eireann in the late 1990s. It would be tragic if the government were to repeat the mistakes of its predecessors.” 

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